Stephen Fleming the former Kiwi skipper and present head coach of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), is unfazed by opener KL Rahul’s poor performance with the bat thus far in the ICC T20 World Cup.
He predicted that the Indian cricketer will improve in the two remaining Super 12 games against Zimbabwe on November 6 and Bangladesh on Wednesday.
In his first three Super 12 games started from 23 october for India, the opener has scored just 22 runs, including 4 in a thrilling four-wicket victory over Pakistan, 9 in a 56-run triumph over the Netherlands, and 9 in a five-wicket loss to South Africa in Perth.
Due to this, India has had trouble establishing a strong start in powerplays against South Africa and Pakistan.
Rahul is a crucial member of the Indian team, according to Fleming as well.
“I’m locking him in. I’m just saying, ‘Mate, you’re in for the run. You’ve proven how good a player you can be’. I’m going to give you the confidence to say ‘You’ve got the remainder of the tournament to play’. Play however you want, but I’m not dropping you. You’re a key player and I support you. If that can unlock him, then that would be great. It could go a long way in us winning the competition. So that would be my message,” said Fleming on the ESPNCricinfo show T20 Time Out.
Former India wicketkeeper and a part of 2007 T20 WC winning squad Robin Uthappa too said that Rahul is a match-winner and needs to be given confidence.
“He (Fleming) has spoken like a champion coach, right? You want to be able to give a high-quality player like that as much confidence as possible because he (KL Rahul) is a match-winner for you. When you have that security with you, then you know that you are going to go out there and give it your all. And, I am hundred per cent with Flem (Fleming) on that,” said Uthappa on the same show.
(inputs from IANS)